How Beeper Mini Bypassed Apple’s iMessage Restrictions and Sparked a Tussle

How Beeper Mini Bypassed Apple’s iMessage Restrictions and Sparked a Tussle
6 months
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Beeper is a universal chat app that supports connections to 15+ chat networks, including iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram, and others. It was launched in January 2021 by Eric Migicovsky, the former CEO of Pebble, and has since attracted over 100,000 users.

Beeper Mini is a spin-off app that allows Android users to access iMessage, the encrypted service typically restricted to Apple devices3. It does so by using a reverse-engineering technique that exploits fake credentials to gain access to iMessage4. Beeper Mini claims to offer Android users the same features as iMessage users, such as blue bubbles, read receipts, in-line replies, and high-quality multimedia.

The tussle between Beeper and Apple started in December 2023, when Apple blocked Beeper Mini from accessing iMessage, citing security and privacy concerns for its users4. Apple said that Beeper Mini’s method of using fake credentials could expose metadata and enable unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks5. Apple also said that it would continue to make updates in the future to protect its users.

Beeper, however, denied Apple’s claims and said that its app actually increased security and decreased exposure for Apple’s users6. Beeper also said that it did not allow for unwelcome messages, spam, or phishing and that it did not use fake credentials6. Beeper said that it would offer its source code to Apple or other involved parties to prove its transparency.

Beeper also questioned why Apple, which usually provides few public statements, would comment on its attempts to counteract Beeper. Beeper suggested that Apple was trying to maintain its monopoly in messaging through iMessage, which gives iPhone users a better experience and a social advantage over Android users3. Beeper said that Apple’s closed ecosystem of software and devices discourages people from buying anything other than an iPhone.

Beeper managed to restore its iMessage service for Android users by Monday, December 13, 2023, after a weekend outage6. However, it required users to sign in with an Apple ID, rather than using their phone numbers as before6. Beeper said that it was working on a fix for this issue6. It is unclear how long Beeper will be able to keep its iMessage service for Android users, as Apple is likely to fight it again.

Some additional information that you might find interesting are

Beeper charges $10 per month for its service, which includes a free iPhone 4S to act as a bridge for iMessage1. Users can also use their own Mac devices as bridges if they prefer.

Beeper is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, Apple, Google, or any other chat network7. Beeper is an entirely independent software product.

Apple announced in November 2023 that it would open up its Messages app to work with the newer, more feature-rich texting protocol called RCS, which could improve the messaging experience between iPhone and Android users3. However, green bubbles will still persist even if there might be little to no functional difference.

Provide me an extensive info on Beeper. What was the tuscle between Beeper and Apple?
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